March In Season

Eat produce when it's at its best.

This months seasonal produce

Purple sprouting broccoli, cabbage and oranges

Oysters

Oysters

The most storied shellfish of all is worthy of its place in our imaginations – and on our tables, says Clarissa Hyman.

Competitive oyster eating down the centuries makes for an eye-opening, stomach-gurgling list. Casanova ate 50 a day; Henry IV and Louis XIV as many as 300 in a sitting. The champion oyster-swallower, however, still has to be the Roman Emperor Vitellius, who is said to have regularly eaten 100 dozen oysters at a time, which may explain why his reign lasted less than year. That and the fact he spent more than the equivalent of £8 million on his imperial table in that brief period. When in Rome, as they say. As has frequently been noted, it must have been a brave soul who first ate a raw oyster. Desperate, I would say, as there’s no getting away from the fact we eat them both raw and alive. Thankfully they neither shriek when prised open nor squeal when jabbed, but as an American zoologist calmly noted: ‘Even thoughtful people callously look for the muscular twitch as they drop lemon...read more

Other seasonal produce

Chicory

Identifying your strand of chicory can be almost as confusing as knowing how to eat it. Clarissa Hyman decodes the vegetable that’s brought bitterness to Europe for centuries with recipes by Linda Tubby

Chicory is not an easy vegetable to love. Unless you’re Belgian. Or Italian. It presents a taste challenge as well as a semantic one. Bitterness is not a quality the British particularly appreciate except when it comes to beer, but to a greater or lesser degree it is a common characteristic within...read more

Chicory

Oranges

From ancient China to the British breakfast table, in 6,000 years. Helen Hokin charts the rise and fall of one of the oldest fruits of all with recipes by Linda Tubby

We can be a right lazy lot sometimes. In fact, we’ve sent sales of oranges plummeting in the last three years because, apparently, we can’t be bothered to peel them anymore. Right then, time for a reminder as to why this sunny winter fruit deserves more attention. To recap: the orange has...read more

Oranges

Purple sprouting broccoli

Bid the rich indulgences of the past few months farewell, and prepare for the emergence of melt-in-your-mouth fresh, new-season, leafy green (and purple) vegetables with recipes by Linda Tubby

After a quiet few months of leafy green vegetables, the advent of the purple sprouting broccoli season provides a welcome addition to the winter vegetable offerings. Belying its unflattering name, purple sprouting broccoli has a surprising sophistication. With dark green leaves that peel back to...read more

Purple sprouting broccoli

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